Germany’s hopes rest on Goure Kor

Juri Knorr is the youngest player in the World Cup squad of the national handball team. However, he is already a major player. T Online introduces the 22-year-old.

If you want to know between the poles where Jory Knorr’s performance assessment lies, just listen to Alfred Gislason. “He will be very important for us in this tournament and in the future,” said the national coach after the final friendly victory over Iceland (33:31) last weekend in Hannover. The 22-year-old has scored 13 goals for DHB, eight of them from seven metres.

In the previous test match in Bremen, Gislason looked a little different: the German team also looked like certain winners for a long time against Iceland. But in the end, even Knorr made more mistakes – and the guests from the North brought the victory to 31:30. Together with the captain Johannes Jula, the midfielder was again the best player in the team – but this time there was less praise from the national coach Gislason: Knorr showed a good game, but only for 40 minutes. Then, “expensive mistakes” followed, the national coach told the audience. Inwardly clear words should also have been said.

Whoever plays handball in the middle of the backcourt is the driver and thinker of the attack. He announces the moves to be played and brings the ball to his free teammates. For many years, the most important task for Knorr center players has been to get the rest of the team to shine. But the game has changed. Today’s stars play in the center just as much as their teammates. They no longer persuade only by their general outlook, but also by the threat of their targets.

“You have to concede to a key player.”

The German handball community has long been waiting for a player who can regularly prove both. One day, Juri Knorr could be one. Risk in his game may lead to errors. However, on and off the field, it must also be the secret of his success: his young career is marked by taking extraordinary paths – and this must also be the reason why the youngest player on the German team is already a key player: “he says the former national goalkeeper and handball player. International Henning Fritz in an interview with T Online about the 22-year-old’s style: “He plays very risky. How did Knorr do it?

The fact that Juri Knorr was born with a bit more handball talent than many others is probably due to his famous father: Papa Thomas won four German Championships as a professional with THW Kiel in the 1990s and made a total of 83 caps for Germany. He later trained his son at the long-standing traditional club VfL Bad-Schwartau: Knorr revealed to the handball podcast “Hand aufs Harz” a few years ago that he never felt the pressure of his known name.

Thomas Knorr: Juri's father played for Kiel, Flensburg and Hamburg in the German Handball League.  (archive photo)
Thomas Knorr: Juri’s father played for Kiel, Flensburg and Hamburg in the German Handball League. (archive photo) (what: imago pictures)

Going to the academies of big clubs like Kiel, Berlin or Flensburg was not a problem at that time. Instead, his father encouraged him early on: Thomas Knorr was also a good individual, says European and world champion Henning Fritz. But as a middle fielder in the backcourt, Gorrie faced a different tactical challenge than his father, who was at home in the left backcourt.

From the fourth division to Barcelona

Ibn Jory says his father gave him “absolute freedom” on the field. On the other hand, this is rarely the case with big clubs in youth teams: Knorr complained on the podcast that people are replaced very quickly there if they make mistakes. This is also one of the reasons why there are no outstanding individual players in German handball.

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